Russian Language – Story 14 – About Old Moscow
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Stories in Russian – Story 14 – A bit of old Moscow
Dear friends, we have already in previous stories visited different places in Moscow: Bolshoi Theatre, the Tretyakov Gallery, the gypsy theater “Romen” and we even went to Tchaikovsky’s house near Moscow.
Today we want to take you back to the old Moscow. Anyone who has not been here for several years, is amazed how much the Russian capital has changed. Moscow has become a new modern city with high buildings, shopping centers and concert halls.
Of course, our ancient capital has become even more beautiful, but unfortunately it has also lost its “face”. Therefore, we Muscovites are very pleased that to notice a gradually return of name of squares, streets, alleys, hotels and shops as they were before the Revolution.
We were especially delighted when one of the most beautiful and famous grocery stores got back its old name. I’m talking about Eliseevsky store, which is located in the heart of Moscow, on Tverskaya Street number 14. This store has an interesting story.
In 1898 the building was bought by a Moscow millionaire, Gregoriy Eliseev. After three years, he opened a large store. In honor of opening the store there gathered well-known guest: officials and merchants; artists; actors; writers and composers; foreign diplomats and businessmen. It was a real celebration. All guests were amazed when they saw the luxurious hall with beautiful mirrors and multi-colored lights in the shape of flowers. The walls were decorated with gold. Particular attention was attracted by the huge beautiful crystal chandelier.
On the counters could be seen many products that were imported from abroad: French cheeses, Spanish olive oil, exotic fruits and vegetables, tea and coffee, spices from around the world and, of course, the best wines. In addition, there were the best grades of Russian fish, black and red caviar and much more.
Grigoriy Eliseev considered to be important not only the quality of products but also their appearance. Imagine that he, one of the richest people in Moscow, himself led the design of the shelves! He also selected personally all the people working in his store. All staff were educated people and they all knew several foreign languages. They all had high salaries. Their politeness and hospitable were outstanding. Soon this store became one of the favorite places for Muscovites …
In 1903, Eliseev opened a second store in St. Petersburg and then one in Kiev. He had plans to open a network of stores also in other countries …
But in October 1917 the revolution came. After the revolution, Eliseev emigrated to France, and his shop was renamed. Now it became “Gastronom Number 1″, but Muscovites continued to call it “Eliseevsky.”
During the Soviet era the shop changed completely, as did the whole country. Gone were the elegant smiling sellers and the range of products was also different.
1991 was the ninetieth year in the history of Eliseevsky and the shelves in the store had never been that empty. Soon Russia’s political and economic reform began and s year later the store got back its old name.
Again delicacies and a variety of foods from all over the world were displayed on the shelves. But the store was in great need of repairs.
The restoration of Eliseevsky lasted several years. Today, going there, you can feel the atmosphere of old Moscow. We believe that our Eliseevsky is a part of the national culture of Russia.
Next to the shop is located the famous Filippovsky bakery, which belonged to the merchant Filippov. Before the Revolution, the Filippovsky bakery was the most famous and most beautiful bakery in Moscow. The Governor-General of Moscow brought every morning, for breakfast, hot rolls from Filippov.
I want to tell you a true and funny story.
One morning at breakfast time Governor-General, as always, drinking tea and eating his favourite pastries. Suddenly he saw something strange in a bun. It was a cockroach. “What is this?!” – Shouted the governor and ordered the immediate Filippov to come and explain. A few minutes later Filippov was in front of the Governor.
- What is this?! – shouted the Governor again.
- What? This is a raisin – said Filippov and quickly ate the piece of the cake with the dead cockroach.
- No! That’s not true! There are no buns with raisins! – Cried the Governor.
The merchant immediately returned to the bakery and ordered to buy raisins and put it into the dough. An hour later, the Governor brought Filippov delicious hot bread with raisins, which was very much liked. Early the next day, outside the store was already a line of people. Everyone wanted to buy the new rolls with raisins.
We still love the scones with raisins, which have such an interesting origin. The wonderful writer and historian Gilyarovsky, who, not only loved to Moscow, but also knew its history, wrote the book “Moscow and Muscovites”. From this book you can learn a great deal about Moscow as it once was.
We are also very fond of our beautiful city. Come to us! You should see with your own eyes its beauty – to Moscow, where you can feel the atmosphere of old time.
Listen to a couple of sentences from this Russian story by clicking the Play Now > button below.
Some examples (of many) of Russian grammar in this story:
” В 1903-ем году Елисеев открыл … как и изменилась вся страна”
… выражение времени (expression of time)
… В 1903-ем году … (Prep. C.)
… в октябре 1917-го года (Gen. C.)
… в советское время (Acc. C.)
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